Self-Acceptance is the Answer
I commonly see my clients rejecting the parts of themselves they deem as “bad” or “not good.” Things like procrastination, being late, being unorganized, not following up on email or text fast enough, not being able to keep all friend connections alive fall in the “I am not good enough” narrative.
My first response is always this question, What if it was all ok? What if you being late, unorganized, non-responsive and such, was just fine? In our modern day society, there are a ton of social norms in regards to productivity and social engagement. We are expected to be connected 24/7 due to cell phones, text and email. We are expected to be on time no matter what for appointments, school, and social engagements. We are expected to have our work and personal spaces in order.
But here is the thing, we are all different, we have different personalities, backgrounds, cultural influences and relationships to time, organization and productivity. What if you give yourself a break and truly let yourself off the hook? Beating yourself up and judging yourself is not going to change a thing. And do you really need to change anything?
What if you leaned into self-acceptance and shared with your friends that you are a person who runs late, or are unorganized or simply cannot produce like a machine?
How might you feel, if you 100% accepted your reality as is? What might that open up for you?
Rather than expend energy on self-judgment, channel that energy into acceptance. How would doing so impact your life?
And even if you really want to change those “bad” habits, it will only happen through being kind to yourself first. Sustainable change in our lives comes through kindness and self-compassion. Beating yourself up may help in the short-term, but it will not help in the long-run, I guarantee that.
Accept how you are currently showing up in life. Really, truly lean into telling yourself it is ok. For example, I run late, it is ok. I answer emails late, it is ok. I am unorganized or whatever version this is for you–you are ok.
Then evaluate your why behind this behavior. Are you comparing yourself to others and falling short? If yes, maybe by just focusing on what you are doing you will realize it is enough? Or if you want something to change you will do it in your style and by your strategy, not like the person you are comparing yourself to.
I find some people run late because they are very in the moment people. Find the strength in that, your ability to be present with what is in front of you. I find other people judge themselves as procrastinators, but really what is happening is they are not owning their process of getting things done. They are only focusing on the final result and not the beginning and middle of their individual process. Or maybe someone thinks they are unorganized in comparison to someone else, but in reality they know where everything is and each pile is organized for them.
So really look within, get to know yourself. Be gentle, be kind.
Lastly, I want to be clear that some of these behaviors can have an impact on our family, friends and co-workers that leave them feeling frustrated. I get that, but really the first step is to start where you are and then re-evaluate what needs to change. Take time to figure out your behavior or your communication about owning who you are and letting people know your pacing with communication, organization, and time.
Self-acceptance is always the answer.